By Hans Erik Naess (auth.)

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Extra info for A Sociology of the World Rally Championship: History, Identity, Memories and Place

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In order to develop an understanding of the content, contours and contexts of that contemporary experience which nostalgia refers to, we need, according to sociologist Fred Davis (1979, p. 7), to track down the sources of mnemonic experiences in group life. As building blocks to a community of meaning, where narratives can thrive or be repelled, this is, in my view, the real source of both sporting identity and the promotional assets of the WRC. Introduction 23 Conclusion In this chapter I have introduced the sporting basics of the WRC and put it into the world of motorsport.

Alejandro is the driver, the guide, the fixer … well, the everything on this rally. His local shrewdness (‘the Argentinian way’, according to him) would turn out to be a MacGyverian ability when we were confronted with blocked roads, angry motorists or untrained marshals. Wherever we go we are reminded of the uniqueness of this particular rally, and the 26 A Sociology of the World Rally Championship strong local pride in the town of Villa Carlos Paz, the rally’s focal point just outside Cordoba city, in hosting a WRC event.

At the rally’s first stage on Thursday night, the Super Especial Amarok, at a specially built track near Cordoba, the show factor was high with floodlights and fireworks and old motorsport heroes driving like maniacs. The atmosphere was thick in the evening darkness with the smell of burnt fuel and grilled meat and the strange, sweet aroma of the native plants. Spectators were a surprisingly assorted group. Few dressed up in team merchandise, in fact, they seemed more like models from a McKinley catalogue with the addition of the ubiquitous churro – the typical Argentinian winter cap.

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